Business leader and USC Trustee Rick J. Caruso and his wife, Tina, have donated $25 million to endow and name the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, one of the nation’s largest and most highly ranked for research and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose and throat.
The Carusos’ exceptionally generous gift also names and endows the department’s affiliated treatment center for young children with severe hearing loss. This funding for the USC Caruso Family Center for Childhood Communication will enable the center to expand its leadership as the region’s top resource for testing and therapies that enable children to hear.
The USC Caruso Department serves patients facing a range of conditions affecting the head and neck, such as cancer, thyroid disease, facial paralysis, chronic sinusitis and tumors of the cranial base. As a key program within the Department, the Caruso Family Center’s life-changing technologies and services allow children to experience sounds—from their parents’ voices to music, laughter and nature—often for the very first time.
For the Caruso family, these advances carry great personal significance. With a daughter impacted by hearing loss at birth, the Carusos have experienced first-hand the challenges of early-onset hearing loss. Inspired by their experiences, the family has steadfastly supported pioneering research, health care and education. With this gift, Rick and Tina Caruso build on that legacy of support, and align this specific philanthropic focus with the research and treatment advances taking place at USC.
Caruso said he believes that with the endowment, USC has the potential to help thousands of children, perhaps millions of people who have suffered hearing loss to hear for the first time, or to ultimately cure hearing loss altogether. Gianna plans to work with kids at the Center as well.